New York State does things a little differently in regards to their campgrounds. There are some typical parks run directly by the State and then there are two Parks run by the Department of Environmental Conservation or DEC.
They are called Catskill Park and Adirondack Park and are a unique mixture of public and private land under control of the DEC.
I will be visiting Adirondack Park with over 30 campgrounds this August and September. The past three days were devoted to Catskill Park and it's 7 campgrounds.
But first I enjoyed Sunday and Monday doing nothing except eating pork tacos and hanging out with Woody the Woodpecker.
Woody seemed very taken with a particular tree stump.
He would stare at it and then stalk it. Sneaking close and then banging his little bird brain silly.
He made quite a racket and was enjoyable to watch.
Back to work on Tuesday, however.
The nice weather that I enjoyed on Sunday and Monday continued on Tuesday as I made my first of several trips into the Park.
Mongaup Pond is the second largest campground with 163 sites.
The campground is set up in seven loops that encircle the pond.
There is a beach with a creek emptying into the pond nearby.
Boat rentals to "get your paddle on" and a small ramp with an adjacent deck to launch your own or just hang out.
What really impressed me was the stacks of firewood near each fire/cooking pit.
Amazing. Seems that instead of just felling the dead trees from the winter the staff here cuts and splits and stacks it for you.
Every campsite looked like this and that was day after Memorial Day when the campground was full.
Probably won't last for long but what a nice early season bonus.
A sampling of my favorite pond sites are numbers 79, 111, and 129.
Site 46 is near a nice grassy field.
Site 154 backs up to a creek.
Lots of nice sites and amenities make this an extremely popular campground.
Next came Little Pond with it's 67 campsites.
The pond was, well, little.
But there was a nice picnic area along with boat rentals.
There are a strand of sites alongside the pond. I liked numbers 25, 26, and 37 the best.
Site 60 has a creek running behind it.
Clouds were forming as I arrived at Beaverkill.
"Kill" is another word for river, and this one is a world famous cold water river that attracts anglers in search of wild brown trout. There is a picnic area that offers parking in a prime spot.
It seems that half the campground was washed away several years ago with no plans to rebuild the missing 43 sites. So there are 52 here, starting at number 44, with several riverside, like numbers 73 and 75.
To get from the picnic area to the campground you have to cross a covered bridge.
Several fly fishermen were flailing away. I wished them "bent rods and tight lines" as I left.
I made tacos in the dark back at my camp after a long day.
The good weather was gone as I visited four more campgrounds on Wednesday and Thursday.
North South Lake is the largest campground in the Park with 219 sites.
The site numbers only go up to 218 but for some reason they started counting at zero. Hence 219.
Here are some gorgeous views of the beach area and North Lake.
There are 7 loops and I liked sites 11 and 13 for those wanting a small creek nearby.
Sites 145 through 147 were right on North Lake.
Trust me. There is a lake there. Really.
The fog dissipated slightly at Devil's Tombstone.
This is the smallest campground in Catskill Park with only 24 sites. It reminded me of Olympic National Park in Washington in the vibrant green category.
I dig mossy roofs.
And misty lakes.
Sites 3 and 21 were typical of this delightful little campground.
The weather a little better on Thursday when I arrived at Kenneth L. Wilson.
The 78 sites are spread amongst the trees. I liked numbers 9, 44, and 74.
If you don't mind being near the pump station, site 76 is huge with a great play area for the kids.
There is also a picnic area near the Upper Pond.
I finished up my tour of Catskill Park at Woodland Valley.
It's located near the interesting town of Phoenicia and has 72 sites.
According to the campground director this is a very popular spot for hikers. A 15 mile loop trail takes you to the highest peaks of the Catskill Mountains.
A river flows by the south side of the campground.
Being a water lover, my favorite sites were adjacent.
Numbers 7, 16, 25, and 29.
I really enjoyed walking through the campgrounds in the Park and the 250 miles I drove through a mixture of forest roads and quaint towns.
Regards, Park Ranger